The Importance of Fact Checking any Yoga Teacher or Class
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 30, 2003 09:59PM

A few days ago, a helpful person (not me!) posted a new-under-construction website URL on my favorite bulletin board for tracking bad yoga teachers-- []

Immediately, someone counterposted, attacking this person, suggesting he or she needed to 'get a life.'

Well that original poster was right on. You want to check any yoga teacher or guru right at the beginning, before you become psychologically involved. Here is why:

Some harmful yoga teachers or cults practice 'bait and switch'. Ethical yoga teacher never do this, but Bait & Switch is common enough that we must be aware of it and fact checking the bonafides of teachers.

People spend more time researching what brand laptop to buy then they do checking the claims/backgrounds of spiritual teachers they select to influence their minds. Its easier to recover from a computer virus than from mind-mugging administered by an unqualifed spiritual teacher or yoga guru

Bait and Switch goes like this:

Begin by offering yoga as a health enhancing practice, and down play both the history of the instructor's guru and the religious/doctrinal roots of the practice.

Only after you've experienced physical benefits, bonded with/become fond of the teacher are you gradually indoctrinated into a religious agenda. By that time you're so fond of the instructor, you're in a mindset where [i:d724e3aae0]fact checking feels like an act of betrayal[/i:d724e3aae0].

And by this time you've often become bonded with your yoga class or practice group, and have unconsciously linked your spiritual aspirations to the charisma and claims of the instructor and his/her teacher--and often have made friends among your classmates.

When you're in this mindset, you dont WANT to ask questions because that means disrupting a state of mind that feels good, a state of mind you want to cling to and calling cherished relationships into question.

But its at this point that you're most in need of asking questions, because harmful teachers foster this state of mind in order to exploit you. Which is why its so very important to fact check any yoga teacher, spiritual teacher or human potential group BEFORE you've been led to form this kind of trusting bond with them.

As a friend put it, 'Its not spiritual to set yourself up to be burned because you refuse to ask questions at the start of something.'

Certain teachers can manipulate subtle energies and generate feelings of bliss. But this can become addictive. And the ability to manipulate subtle energy is a neutral skill--exploitative people have known how to do this.

[b:d724e3aae0]You must investigate your yoga teacher's teacher/s before you become so fond of the instructor that you become reluctant to fact check.[/b:d724e3aae0]

And just because you get an initial surge of well being does not necessarily mean that a yoga system is being properly taught or that it has a clean and honorable history. Its common to feel better when you first become active in a new way.

Good resources:

[] (Transcendental Meditation)

(check both Google itself and then do an advanced search of the Google listserves)

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The Importance of Fact Checking any Yoga Teacher or Class
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: August 31, 2003 07:06AM

A reader warned the owner of a holistic newsletter of someone advertising his weekend seminar on altered states of consciousness. This person had been in the US and had worked as a holistic physician, but had done a great deal of physical and psychological harm to some of his clients. In the end, it turned out he did not have the credentials he claimed to have, but instead was a Landmark Forum devotee, trying to use their "technology", along with MDMA to treat clients.

Even though there are people who may not have credentials, but are gifted healers, the reader warned people to not take anything for granted. This is the response she got in the newsletter....

""Hi ___, Whilst I agree with what ___ (USA) says, I also note that her evaluation is based on left brain thinking. What about intuition? I have found it useful to sit quietly and go within to see how I feel about attending a talk or workshop. Learning to trust oneself can be really powerful. I also think that the energy of our city Johannesburg is one of pioneering. I don’t think Livingston waited for a map of Africa to be drawn up before he set off on his travels. And why should we? Our willingness to explore and seek out is what makes us special. Taking a risk means living – do we really always want to be keeping to the safe route? ""

This response makes no sense. Would this person go out and buy a Ford Pinto even though she knows the damn thing explodes if rear-ended? Con artists play with your gut instincts and so-called intuition. The damage they do is not easy to repair. This isn't about ALWAYS keeping to the safe route, but just common sense. It's not about staying home and never doing anything risky, but about asking the right questions and making informed choices.

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The Importance of Fact Checking any Yoga Teacher or Class
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 31, 2003 08:52AM

If 'yourself' is being given false information (deceit), manipulated by charisma, or by methods of covert indoctrination.

As for the pioneer spirit, South Africa was settled by people who got their by using maps. Columbus was adventurous, but before he set out on his voyage in 1492, he had become an experienced sailor, had a compass, could navigate using the stars, and--he had maps. Columbus had guts, but he was not foolhardy. He consulted the best geographers and mathematicians available before he set sail.

A lot of people regress to childhood and are convinced that that is spirituality. It is not. Being spiritual combines the wonder and curiousity of childhood with the discipline and analytic skills of adult thinking. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed, or trying to sell you something.

In Las Vegas, people gamble, but the casinos protect against the use of loaded decks and marked cards. These precautions dont take the fun out of gambling; they protect against the crooks who would, without your consent, turn gambling into robbery.

The world of the spiritual search is like a casino, and there are some 'players' who use marked cards and will not tell you. [] lists who these players are.

Rick Ross doesnt keep anyone from entering a bad casino. His information enables you to make an informed decision whether to play your spiritual 'game' in a casino where the odds are stacked heavily against you, rather than being 50-50.

Some folks think they can beat the house odds. Fine. But there are plenty of us who want to avoid folks using marked cards and loaded dice and appreciate being given fair warning.

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